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Response to swag (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 06:27 PM

5. An intellectually honest constitutional originalist would need to grapple with the true context of

the second amendment, which is the Founders' hatred of standing armies. This is codified somewhat in the original document, at Article I, Section 8:

... The Congress shall have Power ... To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years ...

The citizen militia, referenced in the second amendment, was the Founders' answer to the lack of a standing army: it was at once the answer to the threat of external invasion and the answer to the threat of a tyrannical usurper

Until WWII, the US had no significant standing army. However, the experience of the world wars, and the rise of the modern totalitarian states, as well as the national security doctrines associated with atomic weapons, were widely understood as forcing America to rethink traditions against permanent military readiness and to establishment a permanent armaments industry

If, therefore, we really want to talk about the second amendment, it may make sense, as a long-term project, to try to recall the Founders' concern about a standing army and the post-WWII development of a massively-armed America, as part of the puzzle

The Chance for Peace, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1953
... Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron ...

Military-Industrial Complex Speech, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1961
... A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research -- these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel ... Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration ... Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea ... But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions ... This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence -- economic, political, even spiritual -- is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications ...

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swag Dec 2012 OP
idwiyo Dec 2012 #1
Hell Hath No Fury Dec 2012 #2
ellenfl Dec 2012 #3
Redfairen Dec 2012 #4
LineNew Reply An intellectually honest constitutional originalist would need to grapple with the true context of
struggle4progress Dec 2012 #5
davidpdx Dec 2012 #6
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